A few ideas to make DC-Desktop 1.43 even better

I’ve been testing DC Desktop 1.43 since wednesday and haven’t found any bugs so far.
Apart from the already known problem with the icons for muted accounts.
The new account switcher is awesome! I also like the many improvements and the funny idea of showing a fireplace when deleting an account.
The app also looks nicer and more modern than before. :+1:
While testing, I came up with a few ideas on how to make DC Desktop even better.
These are mainly small design changes and are of course completely subjective.
Other users will probably criticize these ideas.

Display email addresses in account switcher

If the user moves the pointer over an account, the name and connection status appear.
I think it would make sense to also display the email address.
Some users probably use the same name for multiple accounts.
Profile pictures can also change over time.
The email address as additional information would certainly be helpful in such cases.
In addition, this has been the case so far.
The address is not displayed in DC-iOS.
That’s why I’ve wanted to write a proposal for a while.
But the situation is more difficult because there is less space available.

Different color for the account switcher in light mode

In my opinion, the dark gray of the account switcher fits visually very well with all themes except the light theme. In this case, the contrast to the rest of the UI is too high.
Maybe the same color as in the bar could be used in light mode or a slightly darker one to highlight the switcher more.

In these example images the settings icon is smaller and the account switcher is slightly wider.

Slightly wider account switcher

I’m referring to DC for macOS and I don’t know to what extent this applies to other operating systems.
If the account switcher would be two pixels wider, the three colored window management dots would be right in the middle of the switcher. Admittedly, this is a very small detail, but I think it would just make it look more symmetrical.

Slightly smaller settings icon

The icon is well placed, but in my opinion it is a bit too big compared to other icons.
In this example image the icon has been reduced to 56 x 56 Pixel.

Background color for transparent parts of a profile image

Round profile images have been a standard for many years.
If a round image is displayed in the account switcher, the transparent parts are simply colored white.
I think it would look better to use the background color in such cases.


Higher contrast between the selected and unselected accounts

Maybe it would make sense to make the selected account a little brighter or darken the others more to make it stand out better.

Remove scroll bar from the “New Account” screen

In my opinion, the bar is superfluous. All content fits into the window.
It would also be possible to place another button there in the future without users having to scroll.
Of course, this is only a small detail, but the window would look more tidy.
After all, it’s the first thing a new user sees after starting DC.

Size of the Settings and Contacts window

In the new version, the windows change size as needed.
Of course you can argue about whether a variable or a fixed size is better.
In my opinion a fixed size would look a little better.
If there is only a small amount of content to be displayed, it will appear as if the window has been moved up. This is just a subjective impression.
In contrast, the profiles in the new version are always displayed in the same size window as before, even if there is only little content.

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There is the goal to deemphasise the email addresses for the rise of chatmail, because there email addresses are random, also for “looking over the shoulder”-attacks hiding email addresses can make sense.

If we really wanted we could do it with 2 lines. But generally the project consensus currently seems to be to hide email addresses.

There is the idea of letting users choose a theme per account that would contradict this, but we haven’t really decided yet if app wide theme or account wide theme is better.

noted. (edit: slightly wider account sidebar as suggested in the forum by Simon-Laux · Pull Request #3698 · deltachat/deltachat-desktop · GitHub)

It has the same size as the account items, but “56 x 56 Pixel.” seems wrong because the size of the icon is 38px in my build from master, so 56px would be much larger.

I think this issue only applies to your own profile picture (as most use square pictures and only round the corner in ui), dc actually does not support transparency in profile pictures as far as I know, the white color comes from core.

This is already done, non selected accounts have less opacity, should they get even lesser opacity?
I think it’s already clear enough:

When you do a fresh start of dc for me there is no scrollbar:
set TEST_DIR env variable or remove previous window dimensions from config.json in the dc data folder.

The team liked the dynamic window size without the empty space more, this was a deliberate choice.
The notifications dialog already grew in height, so it is not as bad anymore as it was with only 2 toggle switches.

The e-mail address would only be displayed if a user holds the pointer over the account icon.
Chatmail will not make email addresses unimportant.
Phone numbers, Threema IDs or ICQ numbers are all random.
Every messenger needs an identifier and this is usually not the nickname and not the profile picture.
In the future, there may be more chatmail servers. Then it would make sense if users could see directly to which server an account belongs.
A user can quickly get to the settings by right-clicking, but displaying the address directly would have been more convenient.

I suggested using a different color for the switcher in light theme.
So in every account that uses the light theme, the switcher would have this color.
It’s an interesting idea to be able to set a theme for each account.
But in my opinion, a theme should be the same for all accounts.
For example, why should a user use the dark theme in one account and the light theme in another?
I think it would make more sense if each chat could have its own wallpaper.

Hmm, strange.
For me, the icon is 64x64. I reduced it to 56x56.

That’s true. :wink:
No problem, just thought that would be easy to change.

I am aware of that. I would have made the contrast a little higher.
But of course this is purely subjective.

Strange. Even if I reinstall DC and delete all files in the library before that, a scrollbar is displayed.

maybe you have a smaller screen than me or have the dock bellow so it can not take the space it normally would. we plan to redesign this screen in 1.46 anyway so let’s remember this problem for the future.